Membership Surveys – Better than a Crystal Ball

Have you ever attended a Rotary Board meeting where someone said, “What do you think our members want?” Answers can vary from “I’m not sure” to “So-and-so says . . .” Rather than guess, Google Drive has a tool that is better than a crystal ball for making board decisions. Google Forms digital surveys can provide your club with data for planning everything from fundraisers to socials to changes in membership dues.

Sample Survey: When Should We Start Meeting In-Person?

The Board of Park City Sunrise Rotary used Google Forms to assess their membership’s readiness to return to in-person meetings. Due to a robust ski season, Summit County’s pandemic transmission remained high over the winter. The Club had met virtually since April 2020. Since March 2021m an effective vaccination campaign by the county health department was a game changer, and the Board wanted to know if the membership felt ready to return to breakfast meetings with tons of delicious bacon.

Google Forms provided the answers. Click here to experience the survey.

  1. Two-thirds of the membership responded – 62 out of 91 members, a strong statistical majority.
  2. The pie chart above showed that 66% or 40 members would return once they were vaccinated or if all attendees were vaccinated. This number was important because the restaurant serving breakfast has minimums for returning to their facility.

The other respondents (44%) indicated they would return if Summit County’s rate of transmission was low or normal, meetings were held outside-or never return, resulting to an easy Board decision to have hybrid meetings, especially since the quality of speakers had risen substantially during the pandemic because they could speak on Zoom from anywhere in the country.

How to Take Your Membership’s Pulse

  • Start with Demographics questions. These can include age, years of membership, gender, etc.
  • Use multiple choice to narrow down answers.
  • Limit the number of choices, if you can.
  • Use checkboxes only when lots of information is your goal.
  • Use short answer questions for comments. Of course, one of the Sunrise comments was, “Will there be bacon?”
  • Don’t use short answer questions for items you can group and quantify. For example, we asked “If you are willing, what date can you come back?”. We got this graph. Hard to read, right? We should have asked a multiple choice question with concrete choices: May 1, June 1, July, etc. – Much easier to quantify.
  • As you can see, Google Forms provides pie chart analysis at the touch of a button. Spreadsheet detail is also immediately available.
  • Multiple board members can collaborate on the document and the link can easily be sent to your membership.

Take a look at the Utah Rotary In-Person Meeting Survey. If your club would like to customize it or use it as a template to create any other survey, contact

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